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    Thread: 2008 Saturn Astra XR 5 Door - Learn me??

    1. Member TMH's Avatar
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      06-02-2012 09:13 PM #1
      To make a long story short, I am looking for a slightly larger, more comfortable daily driver as opposed to my current 2007 Honda Fit Sport.

      Through a family friend, I have the chance to buy a white 2008 Saturn Astra 5 Door XR Automatic with 3,800 Miles---yes, under four thousand original miles, for significantly less than market value.

      The car has been driven and warmed up regularly to ensure seals stay good, etc.

      I know this car isn't the most exciting thing, but it may suit what I need.

      So, does anyone have knowledge of these? Any particular reason to NOT buy it (I would prefer a Manual Transmission, but oh well)?? Reliability? Parts availability? Auto Transmission issues?

      Many thanks, you as always TCL

      Car is similar to this:
      Last edited by TMH; 06-02-2012 at 11:38 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      I often pass slow-moving Priuii on the right, my engine clubbing 9000 baby seals per minute while I do so.

    2. Member curvedinfinity's Avatar
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      06-02-2012 10:18 PM #2
      Quote Originally Posted by TMH View Post
      To make a long story short, I am looking for a slightly larger, more comfortable daily driver as opposed to my current 2007 Honda Fit Sport.

      Through a family friend, I have the chance to buy a white 2008 Saturn Astra 5 Door XR Automatic with 3,800 Miles---yes, under four thousand original miles, for significantly less than market value.

      The car has been driven and warmed up regularly to ensure seals stay good, etc.

      I know this car isn't the most exciting thing, but it may suit what I need.

      So, does anyone have knowledge of these? Any particular reason to NOT buy it (I would prefer a Manual Transmission, but oh well)?? Reliability? Parts availability? Auto Transmission issues?

      Many thanks, you as always TCL
      They would be my first stop in that price range. From what I've heard, the most lackluster part of the car is the 4 speed transmission. Parts will be no problem and many chevy dealers will have saturn support. Don't know about reliability, but I haven't heard any outstanding about them.
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    3. Member TMH's Avatar
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      06-02-2012 11:31 PM #3
      Thanks for the reply ; I've also done some searching thru past threads (I know, shoulda done this before...).

      It seems the 4 Speed takes some of the fun out, but again this will just be a daily driver for about 12-15k miles/yr.

      I'm mostly intrigued by the fact that's it's still essentially brand-new, the right trim level, gets 30+ MPG (Less than the Fit but respectable) and under $10k to purchase.

      Any other thoughts/experiences greatly appreciated
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      I often pass slow-moving Priuii on the right, my engine clubbing 9000 baby seals per minute while I do so.

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      06-02-2012 11:41 PM #4
      I almost bought one new several years ago, right before Saturn gave up the ghost. The dealer wouldn't haggle on the price though.

      The one I test drove was manual in the XR trim. I liked it for what it was. Was a little disappointing in that it looked like a hot hatch but no guts to back it up.

      Still, I thought it was comfortable and refined, and like I said, would've bought one if they had been willing to work with me on price. They wanted 22 for a car that was about to become extinct.

    5. Member Mike!'s Avatar
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      06-03-2012 12:27 AM #5
      Manual ones are pretty fun. My mother in law has an XE auto that is a good car, but I hate the auto. It doesn't move much just off idle, the gas pedal has too much built in resistance, so it's unusually jerky to get the car moving.

      Other than that quibble, and some distinctly German quirks to it, it's a great car.

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      06-03-2012 12:47 AM #6
      Why not buy a 2007/08/09/10 City Golf?
      Stay hungry. Stay foolish.

    7. Member Mike!'s Avatar
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      06-03-2012 12:51 AM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by oldschool86045 View Post
      Why not buy a 2007/08/09/10 City Golf?
      Not sold in the US for one?

    8. Member nm+'s Avatar
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      06-03-2012 12:53 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by oldschool86045 View Post
      Why not buy a 2007/08/09/10 City Golf?
      Because
      A: He doesn't live in Canada.
      B: LOL MKIV.
      Quote Originally Posted by Ducky TSX
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    9. Member TMH's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 01:22 AM #9
      Also:

      1) That is not what this thread is about
      2) I cannot get one with 3,000 miles for $9,500
      3) ????? profit ?????

      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      I often pass slow-moving Priuii on the right, my engine clubbing 9000 baby seals per minute while I do so.

    10. Member EvilGTI's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 01:47 AM #10
      I had a 2 door XR 5speed for about a year. I had always wanted one with plans of eventually swapping a LNF motor(2.0t) to replace the scary 1.8 that they come with. Cool/Rare car but I needed a 4 door and I traded it in and made an extra $3k more than I paid for it. Testdrive it and dont talk yourself into buying it.... like I did. I liked the look/handling/rareness of the car but the 1.8 is just bad and I was happy to move on to my next car.

      A pic of my old one.... for no real reason.

    11. Member dieselraver's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 02:05 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by TMH View Post
      Through a family friend, I have the chance to buy a white 2008 Saturn Astra 5 Door XR Automatic with 3,800 Miles---yes, under four thousand original miles, for significantly less than market value.

      well since Saturn is extinct, you'll be buying this car for below market value? I hope its under $500.00

      does GM honor the warranty if you re-sell it? or are the warranties completely useless now on a 5 year old car...?

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      06-03-2012 02:41 AM #12
      07-10 city golfs sell for about 6-10k


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      06-03-2012 02:46 AM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by oldschool86045 View Post
      07-10 city golfs sell for about 6-10k


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    14. Member nm+'s Avatar
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      06-03-2012 03:06 AM #14
      Ignore the troll.
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      06-03-2012 03:20 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by TMH View Post
      To make a long story short, I am looking for a slightly larger, more comfortable daily driver as opposed to my current 2007 Honda Fit Sport.
      you gotta ask yourself, what does this car offer you that your honda fit doesnt?

      i checked out one of these cars when saturn was still a company and been a passenger in a fit several times and i really dont think this car is enough larger and more comfortable to warrant getting it, or if is even larger and more comfortable.
      Quote Originally Posted by Cousin Eddie View Post
      Nah, understeering into a tree in a Honda like a teenage girl ruins your street cred. I'd leave the door to show how hard you are.

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      06-03-2012 08:25 AM #16
      I test drove a base model with the manual before I bought my Jetta. It was nicely put together, quiet, comfortable... but DOG SLOW. And back in 08, this thing didn't even have an aux jack. As absurd as it sounds, the fact that my smart feels faster then it, I didn't go for it.
      But for the price you seem to be getting it for... go for it.
      Its loads more comfy then the fit, especially for highway driving

    17. Senior Member Lwize's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 08:29 AM #17
      Why not buy a Dacia Logan?
      :gift:

    18. Member Burnin8r's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 08:29 AM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Mike! View Post

      Other than that quibble, and some distinctly German quirks to it, it's a great car.
      net German, Belgian =)

      I owned one, put 60k miles through it over 4 years, no repairs other than changing the oil.

      my mkIV GTI could not do the same. Astra is a great commuter car and you are basically getting a new one for half price.

    19. Member Rabbit5GTI's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 10:08 AM #19
      I drove one when they were new. Manual transmission, though.

      Really liked it, just the overall lack of power was very noticeable - even with the manual. If you don't mind that, it could be a very good commuter car.

    20. Member P-Body's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 12:11 PM #20
      Gave ours back off lease 2 months ago.

      The good:

      • Liked the overall quality
      • Interior looks great
      • Looks sharp
      • Comfortable around town and on the highway
      • Despite some quirks, good at swallowing up loads of stuff
      • Really a pretty good handling vehicle.


      The meh:

      • Sluggish. Really sluggish.
      • She's got a belt that needs to be changed...I'm guessing a 4 year old model would need it soon too.
      • Lots of, how shall I put it, 'unique' Euro ergonomic quirks.
      • Horrible headlights.
      • More expensive parts than a similar Cobalt because of the different engine and panels.
      • Hatch is smaller than it should be.
      • Weaker than expected fuel economy.


      We couldn't justify the lease buyout, which was ridiculously high for a discontinued car from a discontinued brand. We got it off Leasebusters for 200 bucks a month loaded, so it served our purpose for 30 months though. If you can get it for really cheap, might be a good find, but check on that timing belt change cost first.
      Quote Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
      Scenario: Uphill on two lane hwy. You need to pass and overtake a slower vehicle. That 151 torque won't let you. You will hit an oncoming car the opposite side if you do.

    21. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 12:18 PM #21
      Owner reviews tend to be very positive for the Saturn Astra.
      But it's hard to say... most mainstream cars that sell in low volumes tend to have very positive owner reviews.
      Rare = owner bias?
      |˙˙ʇǝuɹǝʇuı ǝɥʇ uo ʇxǝʇ uʍop ǝpısdn ɯopuɐɹ pɐǝɹ noʎ :ǝɯıʇ ǝǝɹɟ ɥɔnɯ ooʇ ʎɐʍ ǝʌɐɥ noʎ ןןǝʇ oʇ ʍoɥ˙˙˙|http://hotlinktest.com/

    22. Member LuckyDogg's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 12:20 PM #22
      I don't get how the Astra is a significant upgrade from the Fit if you're looking for a larger car.

      I understand it is a larger class size, but the Fit has a taller roof, good space utilization and a very versatile interior that make up for the difference in vehicle footprint.

    23. Member MontoyaF1's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 12:29 PM #23
      I bought my wife a 2008 5-door XR two years ago for about $12,500 and it had about 30K miles on it. Since then then only thing we've had to do to it was replace the battery a year ago. Nothing else has gone wrong.

      Sure it isn't going to win any drag races, but my last car was a Mk4 2.0, so it wasn't a big deal. The seats are awesome (we have the leather interior). I would dare say more comfortable than my SAAB.

      My only peeve--I hate the BMWish style wiper controls. Here is ours after I slapped Opel badges on it:

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    24. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 12:41 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by LuckyDogg View Post
      I don't get how the Astra is a significant upgrade from the Fit if you're looking for a larger car.

      I understand it is a larger class size, but the Fit has a taller roof, good space utilization and a very versatile interior that make up for the difference in vehicle footprint.
      Maybe he drove the Astra and it is significantly more comfortable?

      IIRC- the 1st gen US Honda Fit had rather uncomfortable seats and was a bit buzzy at highways speeds.

      The Astra might not be more roomy, but it may feel more substantial on the highway.
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      06-03-2012 01:39 PM #25
      If you get it I still have the K&N filter that can replace the airbox... no real power difference but really changes the engine noise to actually sound decent vs the tickty oem motor noise

      like this... not my video btw.
      Last edited by EvilGTI; 06-03-2012 at 01:43 PM.

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      06-03-2012 01:48 PM #26
      I say you check out the 2nd gen pontiac vibe before purchasing the Astra.
      But it might not be in your price range?

      Reliable toyota innerds without the boring looks. And it doesnt look like it was designed in 2004 like the astra, sorry! oh yeah, and super rare like the astra.
      Last edited by czykvw; 06-03-2012 at 01:52 PM.

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      06-03-2012 02:09 PM #27
      It will be really slow with the automatic. Over 10 seconds 0-60, and not much torque means you'll have to put your foot down. If you're ok with that, then I'd say it's a good car. But not better than a Fit...
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    28. Member TMH's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 02:14 PM #28
      Thanks everyone for all the replies!!

      1) The reason it's an upgrade over the Fit is that the Honda has high mileage, uncomfortable seats, and just not what I would like in terms of comfort for a highway cruiser. The Astra is better in all of these categories. The Fit does have AWESOME utility and a cavernous hatch, but I seldom use it to capacity, so the other positives of the Saturn outweigh this.

      2) Thanks for the recommendation of the Vibe; one of the reasons I am looking at the Astra is because of a specific good opportunity to buy a nearly-new one at (What I have found in researching) a very reasonable price.

      3) I am not worried about the straight-line performance; the 109HP Fit is a dog as well, and I wouldn't expect the Astra to be THAT much slower, maybe I'm wrong.

      4) As far as fuel economy goes, 32MPG on the Highway suits me fine; it's a bit less than I get with the Fit but not a big deal.

      5) I can't find any City Golfs, but they are by far the BEST car ever created.
      Last edited by TMH; 06-03-2012 at 02:17 PM.
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      I often pass slow-moving Priuii on the right, my engine clubbing 9000 baby seals per minute while I do so.

    29. Member P-Body's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 05:32 PM #29
      Quote Originally Posted by TMH View Post

      4) As far as fuel economy goes, 32MPG on the Highway suits me fine; it's a bit less than I get with the Fit but not a big deal.
      I don't think we ever got close to 32 mpg....strict highway driving would usually result in 26 or 27ish. It's just geared too short.
      Quote Originally Posted by teklord69 View Post
      Scenario: Uphill on two lane hwy. You need to pass and overtake a slower vehicle. That 151 torque won't let you. You will hit an oncoming car the opposite side if you do.

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      06-03-2012 05:36 PM #30
      Quote Originally Posted by TMH View Post
      5) I can't find any Sheety Golfs, but they are by far the BEST car ever created.
      Why do you want a Sheety Golf?

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    31. Member TMH's Avatar
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      06-03-2012 08:19 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by MontoyaF1 View Post
      I bought my wife a 2008 5-door XR two years ago for about $12,500 and it had about 30K miles on it. Since then then only thing we've had to do to it was replace the battery a year ago. Nothing else has gone wrong.

      Sure it isn't going to win any drag races, but my last car was a Mk4 2.0, so it wasn't a big deal. The seats are awesome (we have the leather interior). I would dare say more comfortable than my SAAB.

      My only peeve--I hate the BMWish style wiper controls. Here is ours after I slapped Opel badges on it:

      Thanks for this; I am curious if you ave the Auto or Manual? If Auto it would be nice to get a first-hand review--as far as I can tell this is one of the weak points. thx!
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      I often pass slow-moving Priuii on the right, my engine clubbing 9000 baby seals per minute while I do so.

    32. 06-03-2012 09:02 PM #32
      I can't say anything about that particular Saturn model, but I can taut mine. I had a 1994 SC2 that gave me 120K painless miles. A starter and an engine mount bolt, that was it. I currently own a 2007 VUE and I have had only a few minor problems. I have 180K miles on it. Granted, it has the Honda engine but the car has been solid overall.

      Many seem to ridicule Saturn. Not from personal experience, but rather from misplaced perception. I had plenty of money to buy something else more $$, but I don't need Euro soul, I need a practical, reliable car.

      So, I say it is all good.

    33. Member TMH's Avatar
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      06-04-2012 12:34 AM #33
      ^ Right on, much appreciated! Looks like this will become a reality on Saturday; will post pics/initial impressions if so
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      I often pass slow-moving Priuii on the right, my engine clubbing 9000 baby seals per minute while I do so.

    34. Member TMH's Avatar
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      06-04-2012 12:35 AM #34
      P.S. if anyone is selling or knows where I can find a set of those nice skinny 5 Spoke Alloys on the XR Coupe, I'm all ears
      Quote Originally Posted by Chris Stack View Post
      I often pass slow-moving Priuii on the right, my engine clubbing 9000 baby seals per minute while I do so.

    35. Member Burnin8r's Avatar
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      06-04-2012 08:36 AM #35
      Quote Originally Posted by P-Body View Post
      I don't think we ever got close to 32 mpg....strict highway driving would usually result in 26 or 27ish. It's just geared too short.
      I got 350 miles on a 10.x gallon refill regularly, manual trans tho.

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